Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Thoughts on a Critical Pedagogy Workshop (upcoming)


So I have been asked to give a workshop on Critical pedagogy. Which I have done before as a short 1-2 hour session. But this time I was asked to do a full day and I feel a little overwhelmed. Even though critical pedagogy was important in my dissertation, and informs my daily thinking and practice i.e. my praxis 🙂 I don’t actually know how to give it justice in one day. And i don’t know how best to use the luxury and limitations of a full day without extended reflection time in between.

But jotting down some ideas here and hoping anyone reading this who has done an extended critical pedagogy workshop will help me with some ideas

First of all the audience isn’t higher ed or even formal ed. They’re in (I understand) an informal learning situation with adult learners. I will learn more from the person who invited me to do the session but it’s more important to always be aware of my ignorance and use it in the workshop to remind participants about how important it is for teacher to be learner as I will be modeling it honestly.

So… Activity ideas

  1. Humility walk ice-breaker and reflection (I describe it here)
  2. Some small amount of Critical Pedagogy theory (just concepts of social justice and importance of praxis – may try to create an activity that demonstrates difference betw just action or just reflection vs the praxis of combining both)
  3. Visual reflection exercise (unsure which image to use…should be something familiar to their context but which helps with consciousness raising – any suggestions from Egypt welcome!)
  4. Improv theater or role play. Asking participants to recreate or act out semi-fictional situations from their own practice
  5. An identity activity meant to highlight intersectionality
  6. A power mapping exercise where they explore the kinds of power at play in their teaching situations
  7. Discussion of culturally Relevant Pedagogy 
  8. Discussion of curriculum theory and how a critical/empancipatory curriculum is different from others centered on content or outcomes
  9. Open discussion of how difficult critical pedagogy is to implement in practice – using examples from my own teaching and others. Most importantly reflecting on our own intersectionality and triggers and how this may manifest in a classroom if we end up talking about something controversial or stressful
  10. End with individual reflections on their own teaching philosophies and how their previous teaching practices followed their values or not and what needs to change. 

Through it all, I hope to make it meta and to model critical pedagogy in each exercise/segment’s process not just the content. 

Advice and ideas not only welcome, but requested 🙂


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